The people of Southern Sudan have voted overwhelmingly for independence from the north in a referendum, according to an early poll by Reuters.
Reports from referendum officials in 7 regions of the south indicate large majorities in favour of a total split, with some trend figures coming in at 90% or higher.
In Bahr al-Ghazal state, which borders the north, close to the troubled Darfur area, the call for separation was backed by 95% of the population.
Officials from the three remaining states have so far not released figures or any trend data.
Southern leaders have urged people not to celebrate ahead of the final figures, which are due to be released in early February.